Thursday, 12 November 2015

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and Michael Foreman (Pavilion Children's Books)

In this 150th Anniversary year of Lewis Carroll's classic "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" there's always room for one more version featuring a legendary children's author and illustrator...
Michael Foreman is one of the most well known and prolific children's author-illustrators of the last century, and quite often his works are cited as a huge influence on creative folk working inside and outside the children's publishing industry.

Back in 2003, Foreman produced illustrations for a special version of Lewis Carroll's classic "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and in the 150th anniversary year of that story's original publication, a new reprint has been produced by Pavilion to once again showcase Michael's own rather unique vision of Alice and the other amazing characters she meets on her adventures.

Alice here is no blond-haired pinny-dress wearing Disney-style Alice, she is more drawn from the original inspiration for the character. One Alice Liddell, immortalised in this photo by Charles Dodson (Lewis Carroll)...

Charles Dodson's photographic portrait of Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Michael Foreman's illustrations in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"
Alice retains the dark shorter hair and less 'dressy' dress in Foreman's illustrations, and she also seems a lot less prissy throughout too. In fact, though the text of the story is slightly abridged, we see Alice perhaps as Lewis Carroll intended before the astonishing illustrations by John Tenniel became the template for most to follow when visualising Alice.

For younger readers, this version of Alice may be a little wordy, but for children Charlotte's age and older, this is a great version packed with awesome illustrations that will give them a sound jumping-off point before they dig out the full and proper Lewis Carroll version to read to themselves.

Charlotte's favourite bit: As with just about every version of this story, the Mad Hatter's tea party is always her favourite bit.

Daddy's favourite bit: I rather like Foreman's version of Alice, a bit tougher and dare I say darker but fitting perfectly into the story.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Pavilion Children's Books)

"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

Written by Lewis Carroll

Illustrated by Michael Foreman

Published by Pavilion Children's Books

Release Date: 12th November 2015